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Acura RL vs. Acura TL

timnytimny Posts: 142
edited August 2014 in Acura
Sorry to seem schizophrenic - I am having trouble making up my mind about what what car to buy, but am leaning towards the Acura RL. On the plus side, my wife and I negotiated an incredible deal for the RL and an MDX (Touring w/NAV). Total price for the two comes in at under $79K, if I pull the trigger now. But I am still uncertain.

Help me decide.

I am having to give up a six-speed since my bachelor days are over and my wife doesn't like to drive an MT, so that has me looking at near-to luxury cars like the RL. I love the new 330i, but a) there's no 330xi model available yet, and b) what's the point of an AT BMW? I also like the styling and ride of the M (and, for that matter, the G), but after reading here about disenchanted owners (and seeing my friend's Infiniti inexplicably burn-up three sets of front brakes in under 20,000 miles), I am skeptical about Infiniti. And the Lexus 300AWD - hot!, but tres cher!

So now I am looking at Acura, but can't decide between the RL and the TL. Doubtless the RL is a refined (and fine!) ride, and the Formula-1-ish paddle-shifters are intriguing (might almost make up for having to drive an AT!), but the styling ... I don't know: it looks a lot like an Accord (and a comparably equipped Accord is $20K cheaper, and technically roomier). Meanwhile, the styling of the TL is great, but I would prefer AWD to FWD. Is it worth the additional $12K, though?

Give me some advice!
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Comments

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    How about the 530ix?
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    I negotiated an incredible deal for the RL and an MDX (Touring w/NAV). Total price for the two comes in at under $79K, if I pull the trigger now. But I am still uncertain. ... I also like the styling and ride of the M ... but after reading here about disenchanted owners

    I'm currently debating the RL vs. the M35. The M35 entered the picture several months ago due to the overpriced nature of the RL (at the time). The newer heavily discounted prices on the RL is intriguing however. Your combined total price isn't much help evaluating the deal - how much is the RL part of it? The TL is a heck of a car and a good deal in and of itself (I'm even thinling of getting a TL and saving the money); I have been struggling since March to convince myself that the RL is worth ~$10K more than the TL - I'm not sure that it is :confuse:

    Your comments about disenchanted M owners is a bit puzzling; I have not gotten that impression at all here on Edmunds. Actually the RL is having a lot of QC issues that is being reported here and on other dedicated forums. The preponderance of reported issues with the RL is the Number 1 thing holding me back. I've more or less decided to forgo the '05 RL due to its problems and either get the new M35, wait on the '06 RL, or save the money and get a TL.
  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    I bought my RL in October and absolutely love it. A good friend just bought a TL and I've ridden in it a number of times. My take:

    Both are great cars. The TL is especially great considering the price.

    I prefer the TL's styling to the RL's, though the longer I drive my RL, the more I appreciate the styling.

    The AWD in the RL really sells it for me.

    One of my few complaints about the RL is the somewhat choppy ride. The TL's ride is even choppier - much more of a sports car feel.

    I don't believe the TL is as quiet as the RL.

    The nav system on the RL is the best there is. While the nav system on the TL is very similar, it isn't as easy to operate as the RL's.

    Aside from those items, either car would be a great car for you.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    Some advise you ask... Well...at a packaged price of $79k for the RL and MDX. Effectively you are paying $36k for the MDX after what should be about $43k for the RL. Is it great? Pretty good but not where that should be your decision point.

    RL vs TL. I driven both and decided on the TL. The AWD is nice, but I found enough road bite with the TL. The RL to me is trying to compete with the luxury sports sedan of Lexus LS and maybe the BMW 5...but I found the amenities of the TL to be comparable to both just mentioned. Cabin size of the RL might be roomier...but it just didn't fit the profile needs and wants I seeked.

    As for the paddle shifters....I am not a big big fan....and should not be a decision maker and a novelty that the up coming Lexus IS330 is trying to push. Somewhat interesting...but you can also do the same with the TL sequential-shifter...where you can mimic manual shifting with the fine TL automatic.

    Although the RL is a fine bargain at $43k...is it worth the additional $12k above the TL? You have to make that decision after multiple test drives...I selected the TL. If I was considering a mid-$40k sports sedan...I might even pony up a few additional dollars and consider the Lexus GS series. Either way...it is very difficult to beat the performance, amentities and value proposition of a TL.
  • timnytimny Posts: 142
    Can you elaborate more on the QC issues you know about the RL? Do you know of similar issues for the TL?
  • timnytimny Posts: 142
    Interestingly, the sales agent blurted out that if the TL has AWD, they'd sell no RLs at all ... then he quickly back-pedaled on his statement.
  • timnytimny Posts: 142
    TL = 35
    RL = 44
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    The Acura dealer told me that the RL is selling so poorly becuase it looks just like an Accord, and the TL is just too much of a value. IMHO the RL is not worth thousands more than the TL.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    Just read thru the Edmund's Problem Forum on this website, as well as the other major Acura RL Internet Forums.

    seamusnh, "Acura RL Owners: Problems & Solutions" #275, 22 Jul 2005 10:26 am!make=Acura&model=RL&ed_makeindex=.ef4f332

    Most of the problem appear to be electrical and/or software related; e.g. XM issues, NavTraffic issues, Key Fob problems (dead battery), etc. Most seem minor and somewhat typical to first model year releases; however there are too many in my opinion and I'd just as soon wait on the '06 or get something.
  • quest3quest3 Posts: 33
    And twice on Sunday. Why would you pay 10-12 grand more for a better navigation sytem(someone's opinion) AWD and power rear shade, that just doesn't add up and especially when the least expensive of the 2 cars is clearly most definately with out a doubt the better looking vehicle.. Maybe the two bodys got switched accidentally at the factory when they were concepts and no one realized it. And If the TL goes AWD (I think maybe 07 if it does) they'll sell less RL then they are now. Its a wrap for the RL, they need to drop that price to about 5 grand more than a TL then some people will over look the less attractive styling but personally I'd still get the TL.
  • acraandyacraandy Posts: 8
    The RL doesn't just have AWD, it has SH-AWD which is quite an amazing feature. It handles very well, especially considering it's size.
    IMHO, the RL is too small for it's price range. It has some nice features. The Navi is noticably better, but only if you live in a city with the real-time traffic monitors (I think they are up to 25 of the largest US cities right now)
  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    The Navi is noticably better, but only if you live in a city with the real-time traffic monitors

    I really disagree The RL's navi has an easy to use joystick as opposed to the touch screen on the TL. Also, you can program the RL's navi while driving since it has voice feedback. The basic system is the same, but I find the RL's more refined to use.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I agree, the price difference between the two cars is too much for the RL to compete against the great looking, great value TL. The TL is a great blend of sportyness, lux and power that is hard to beat.
  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    I agree, the price difference between the two cars is too much for the RL to compete against the great looking, great value TL.

    Each to his/her own. I love my RL and wouldn't trade it for a TL for anything. A good friend has the TL and wouldn't trade it for my RL straight across. The TL is a great value, but the RL is an absolute dream to drive.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,585
    "Each to his/her own. I love my RL and wouldn't trade it for a TL for..."

    And that is the final word on all of these "mine's better, faster, prettier and a better value" ego matches on several of these boards. While it's fun to argue, you vote with your wallet. The car you buy, until you decide otherwise, is the absolute best car for you!

    If I wanted to spend in the $50k range there is no doubt I would have driven the RL. And M35/45, E Class (actually I did drive the E Class a couple of times. Very nice, but I decided I didn't want to spend $50k and to be honest just couldn't see the ~$20k difference between the E and the TL) and maybe the 530 (it's just that it looks so bad on the outside and dull/downmarket on the inside. Sorry, I'm shallow and need a pretty face...) and A6. From what I're read, the RL is a strong competitior.

    Anyway, Nebraska, enjoy the RL as much as I (and, if I can read between the lines, frisconick ;)) enjoy the TL and blueguy and KD enjoy their Bimmers. Winners all.

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • shs111shs111 Posts: 39
    Just today I traded my 2004 TL for a 2005 RL. The RL was not available when I bought the TL, and I have loved every minute, every mile of the TL. But I wanted the advanced all wheel drive of the RL (I live in the Boston area, so in some respects all wheel is a necessity, not a luxury), and also liked its smoother ride (albeit a marginal difference to me). Only when the RL price dropped (I got it at $44,585 plus a very decent trade value on the TL) was I willing to consider it.

    Kudos to Acura for two great cars.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    Anyway, Nebraska, enjoy the RL as much as I (and, if I can read between the lines, frisconick ) enjoy the TL and blueguy and KD enjoy their Bimmers. Winners all.

    Very well put! We go back and forth on what car is best, but these are all really great cars, and we are lucky to be able to afford them.
  • taxesquiretaxesquire Posts: 681
    You offered that one of the reasons the RLs nav is better than the TLs is that "you can program the RL's navi while driving since it has voice feedback."

    You can program the TLs nav while in motion, too, and it has the same voice recognition, voice prompts and feedback too.

    I do believe the RLs joystick is easier to use than the TLs - I hope it is b/c the TLs is not easy to use - but I wonder why they got rid of the touchscreen. Even those who prefer to use a joystick should be able to appreciate having the option?!?
  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    but I wonder why they got rid of the touchscreen

    They may have gotten rid of it because the touch screen doesn't hold up well. I had the touch screen on my 99RL and after two years there were permanent spots on it at places I frequently touched the screen.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I have seen touchscreens cash registers in bars but the bartenders use a plastic stick instead of their fingers, I assume because it does not mess up the screen.
  • timnytimny Posts: 142
    Very well put! We go back and forth on what car is best, but these are all really great cars, and we are lucky to be able to afford them.

    It's true ... just a few yars ago I was praying each day my '91 Explorer (190,000+ miles) wouldn't explode, since I couldn't afford anything else!

    I still like the look of the TL over the RL, but the advanced AWD system of the RL is astonishing, and seems almost to justify the $12K difference I was fussing about earlier. My concern now is the mention of QC problems in the RL (as a new car line/re-design). You RL owners -- what problems have you experienced (and have any made you wish you hadn't bought it?).
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,585
    Congrats on the new RL, SHS. I, too, am in Greater Boston area (get it together already, Sox!) and bought the TL over the G35 (among others) as I'm a skier and always have driven FWD. Never been stranded and with the FWD and traction electronics of the TL figured I'd be all set. Much to my displeasure, the Bridgestone tires on my TL are the worst tires I've ever experienced in snow! Thank goodness it only potentially snows around here half the year! I think I'm going to try and get through this coming winter with the Bridgestones, but if it continues to be as bad as I though it was I'll consider snows or better all-seasons.

    Where'd you buy your RL, A of B, Clair?

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    Buy new tires that are good in the snow!!! :P
  • shs111shs111 Posts: 39
    Shopped it at Peabody Acura and Clair, but bought it at Acura of Boston (same as I'd bought my TL in 12/2003). They did a great job of putting together the right deal, including the trade. Could not be happier. And it's also convenient to be able to use them for service, very close to my home.
  • nebraskaguynebraskaguy Posts: 341
    You RL owners -- what problems have you experienced (and have any made you wish you hadn't bought it?).

    Other than a couple of very minor problems that have been fixed, my only complaint is the common one of rattles from the front brake pads. It's very annoying, but doesn't make me regret my purchase. It's only at low speeds on rough streets. At highway speeds, it's no problem.
  • billyperksbillyperks Posts: 449
    Congrats to RL for winning Edmunds comparison test- it beat out the Infiniti, BWM,Lexus and Audi.

    Good job Acura.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    My new TL has no rattles after just 2000 miles, it's a great car! :)
  • green5green5 Posts: 22
    I have a question. Anyone who has an RL, does it perform fast than the TL? I didn't know whether the 300 hp made it any different.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    The TL and RL are about equal in speed, the TL might be slightly faster, maybe because it's lighter.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    I own both a 2005 TSX and 2005 TL....and I must say that the RL styling is starting to grow on me as I see more and more on the road. There has to be many happy RL owners. If I was going to buy a car within that segment...I would seriously look at the RL.
  • billyperksbillyperks Posts: 449
    I am with you on that, actually the stlye did not grow on me-I liked the RL the minute I saw it on the Dealer's showroom floor.

    It is on my short list for next summer when I go car shopping.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,585
    Much like the last generation TL, I don't think there's anything "wrong" with the TL style. I find in handsome, but unfortunately a bit generic. It isn't a head turner (like the current TL). I can't imagine someone buying one and not being happy with their purchase. Acura just builds great cars!

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    The RL is just a more conservative look than the TL, nothing wrong with that unless you are a liberal :P
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,585
    Reply to myself to edit earlier post:

    "I don't think there's anything "wrong" with the TL style."

    What I meant was I don't think there's anything "wrong" with the RL style. I find in handsome, but unfortunately a bit generic...

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    Agreed, it is generic !
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    You know what? It is generic, but over time I have come to like it decidedly more than the Infiniti M35/45. The Ms have more of a "hot rod" look to them, but I don't find the styling cohesive. I think most Infiniti/Nissan models go for "shock and awe" styling, but they don't stand the test of time, with the G coupe being perhaps the one exception. But even then....I dunno... :confuse:

    Nick, I know the G coupe is on your radar screen, but the thing that concerns me a bit is I don't find it as stunning as initially. From certain angles it looks heavy, slab-sided. So the question again is, will its styling stand the test of time, or will it become a self-caricature, like the FX has become, and the 350Z rapidly becoming?

    By comparison, cars such as the TL, BMW M3, and MB SL in particular, are love at first sight, and the feeling never wanes. Then there are cars like the RL, and the earlier Legends, which don't knock your socks off at first glance, but the more you look, the more you like!
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    The M just doesn't appeal to me for some reason (personal tastes...which I don't expect everyone to agree to). The side view is where the rear deck is too thick and chunky. From the rear...it looks like the previous generation Avalon...especially the lights. Front...reminds me of the FX. Overall exterior wise...it doesn't tell the story of the performance it has under the hood. Inside....too many gadgets and the takeoff of the BMW Icontrol joystick.

    As for bodble2 comments...historically the Infiniti's looks are no as eternal as the other brands mentioned. Besides the FX looking odd on the road...think back in time to the "J30" with the weird rear end. Or think of how previous generation "Q" look today. Or how even the recent "I30" looks rather drab after only one year after they ended production which began I believe in 2000. "G20". "QX4". Or even the previous forgettable version of the M.

    I would prefer a RL over a M....but that is my opinion.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "...especially the lights."

    I agree. The rear end and rear lights are especially unattractive. Nissan/Infiniti, for some reason, have had real problems with rear end styling. Think 1995+ Maxima, Altima, the J30 & M you mentioned, and even the G sedan which they had to re-do after just 1 year.
  • taxesquiretaxesquire Posts: 681
    The M appeals to me a lot. Mainly b/c of its performance. The interior also looks very nice, but Infiniti cheaped out by giving all cars (1) a gray headliner and (2) black dash, carpet, and center-stack, unless you get the tan interior. I agree the outside is nothing special, but I kind of like that. Classy on the inside, high performance underneath, and kinda plain on the outside.

    You know, I think that's how I'd describe myself !!! ;)
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    From certain angles it looks heavy, slab-sided.

    Your slab-sided, is my muscular. :P

    But I do think the RL is a classic looking car that will pass the test of time with ease. The TL is novel in it's look, but I also think it will pass the test of time, only other car companies will copy-cat the look.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    Classy on the inside, high performance underneath, and kinda plain on the outside.

    With taxesquire's description....I don't think I will look at the "M" in the same way ever again. :surprise:
  • taxesquiretaxesquire Posts: 681
    That's "Mmmmmmmmm" ;)
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    The Ms have more of a "hot rod" look to them ... but they don't stand the test of time

    I know looks are subjective - but a hot rod :confuse: The new M styling is very similar to the new GS and hot rod don't describe it :blush: As far as the test of time you can only make that claim for past styles and not for the present.
  • taxesquiretaxesquire Posts: 681
    Someone, somewhere in this stream cited the 350Z as a car whos looks would not stand the test of time. After reading that I took more notice of the Zs on the road, and not only do I think that look will stick around, I think it already has.

    Recognize the low, sloping hood that appears longer than the stubby, chunky rear? That's the style Porsche 911s have used for years.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    You may be right, but lets face it, Porsches have automotive diplomatic immunity. :P So what they can get away with, others can't. Case in point - - Cayenne.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Well, maybe "hot rod" wasn't an accurate term to use. Perhaps "extroverted", "loud"? But IMO, the M is nothing like the GS. The GS is more understated, more along the theme of the RL, but not as bland. The GS is actually quite good-looking, one of the better styling efforts from Toyotaland.

    But to me, Nissan/Infiniti always try to go for "Look at Me" styling, and I think a lot of times they go overboard. I liken them to the stereotypical used car salesman who wears loud clothing to stand out, but end up looking kinda tacky. :sick:
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I saw a light blue RL on the road today and it really knocked me out, it is amazing what the right color on the right car can do. I was really floored because I am not a big fan of the RL styling. I wish the TL came in the same color.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    However, the true sign of outstanding styling is when the car looks good in any colour. TL anyone? :P
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    So true bodble2, so true. I saw a black TL today, a color I would never consider buying, but I thought to myself, what a fine looking car. :)
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    And I saw a white TL today with Parchment interior. White is a colour I almost never consider, but the White/Parchment TL sure looked classy and sporty!
This discussion has been closed.